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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerhorse View Post
    These round up are on public lands, land which is also used for public grazing. It's all public record and no shortage of info. on the web. Google is your friend. Yes there is private land in there but that is not the issue. These horses are being rounded up from designated HMAs.
    Do yourself a favor and learn more, ok?

    Google is not your friend when it brings all one sided agendas for the first many pages of any issues to do with feral horses.

    Did you not read that we are in a drought and a large portion of the livestock permits have been empty of livestock now for several years AND that the horses are way more in numbers than the designated ranges can support?

    Why would anyone insist the BLM manage horses in a way they starve and starve the native species there?


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  2. #22
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    Problem is too many have read the propoganda which is anti rancher pro mustang.

    I have a 16 MM of a mare screaming as she is eaten alive and the unborn foal is pulled out of her...took her almost 9 minutes to go into shock..

    Feral horses tend to be smaller..13.3-14.2 maximum with some 12 hh

    Conditions are HARSH. All it takes is no snow..early freeze and NO WATER...Or it takes a late fall (November) rain storm followed by a quick 30 below freeze and they can not access sufficient amounts of prairie wool.

    Many conservation tracts have been donated by ranchers...for specific corridors HOWEVER they are DONATED with ranch (read cattle) land usage usually for 99 years.

    I liked the suggestion to run these herds back east...in national parks...wait until 500 horses destroy the eco system..and all of a sudden..those who believe in the Fury syndrome will want them moved somewhere else.

    NIMBY is the usual response.

    Now, with the excess number of unsaleable horses..it will be interested to watch the DNA change to reflect breeds from domestic groups. While MOSt horses just turned lose do not survive some do...especially mares...

    Few of the horses actually trace back to Spain...try reading the history of the American Bashkir Curly breed..6000 years of Sea Faring will also be of value in your library.

    Most of the wildy stories are urban legend and or myth.


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  3. #23
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    The 'normal' cyclic population control measure for herbivores without suitable predators to kill and eat them is to rapidly explode their numbers until the forage is exhausted followed by huge die-offs from starvation and disease from overcrowding and weakened response in starving animals.

    Followed by a 'possible' rebound of forage over several years and the tough remainder population beginning to have offspring that survive. The population builds again and the cycle repeats.

    While there are still small mountain lion populations, the wolves and grizzly bears are very few -there are no large predators culling the herds nor causing them to move through their ranges to give forage a chance to recover. Forage that is re-grazed time after time can't sustain itself and desertification or conversion to invasive species sets in - the grassland becomes sparse shrub/brush, bare soils overheat in summers, insect and bird/small mammal populations also plummet, etc...

    That means humans have to manage herds. In many places manage means hunting permits for Elk and Moose, with horses it means roundups, holding facilities and so on.

    Horses are not wild, but feral. They have been domesticated for over 7,000 years and have been herded for centuries before fencing and stables became a way of life: living out on grasslands successfully with minimal intervention was exactly the way Genghis Khan and Tamurlane' hordes, and the Syrians, Parthians and so on raised their riding/draft horses for ages. Training a truly feral horse takes some skill, but not on the order of attempting to train adult Elk or Moose, which are truly wild.

    It might be kinder to hunt the horses, so they would die on their own ranges and not experience the captive life, but if their numbers on the range climb, they must be removed somehow, either through death, adoption or warehousing.


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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerhorse View Post
    Research has shown that horses do have strong family ties
    Well, we find nothing wrong with weaning domestic foals from their mothers, selling them, changing barns or cities or states with our own horses, traveling all over the country (and the world) to compete among strange horses. So why would one apply a different standard to feral horses? The ones I've seen at holding pens and gathering facilities seem pretty darned content to hang out with the others in the corral, from more than one different herd, and not have to worry about feed and water and predators.


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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverley View Post
    Well, we find nothing wrong with weaning domestic foals from their mothers, selling them, changing barns or cities or states with our own horses, traveling all over the country (and the world) to compete among strange horses. So why would one apply a different standard to feral horses? The ones I've seen at holding pens and gathering facilities seem pretty darned content to hang out with the others in the corral, from more than one different herd, and not have to worry about feed and water and predators.
    That is because horses, like humans and dogs and other animals, are adaptable.
    Sure, all of us like to stay with our families and friends and where we are used to.
    All love to have routines and do the same and not worry about new stuff.

    That doesn't mean we can't go on with new places, friends and ways.
    Adaptable, that is what all alive has to be to stay alive, we are wired that way.

    Saying that, like water looking for it's level, we of course drift to what we are used to, our families, friends and what we know and like to arrange our lives around that.
    Sometimes, our lives just have changes, we move on and adapt to the new circumstances easily.
    So do feral horses, just as any other out there.

    Saying that doesn't mean we don't acknowledge that we also form bonds of all kinds, just puts them in perspective, something that one OPs article was sorely lacking.


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  6. #26
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    The mustang "debate" drives me insane. As an ecologist (I'm currently in grad school) the idea that our government spends so much money on management strategies that are both inexpensive and ineffective. Now, I'm not advocating slaughtering all the mustangs or anything like that, but I often wonder how different this situation would be handled if the feral animals in question were of any other species. Can you imagine this much money being spent to house and maintain groups of feral hogs after they had been captured from the "wild"? I don't think so.

    I've ridden some fantastic mustangs and think they can be great riding and companion horses. But the absolute truth is there is not a large enough market of buyers/adopters to absorb the number of mustangs that are rounded up each year. This can be seen just be looking at the sheer number of individuals held in holding pens.

    I have no good answers to the question "How many mustangs is too many?" and that answer will vary depending on the area in question. But I think many people underestimate how extremely damaging horses can be when they are grazing year round in the same, often poor areas. The mustangs don't have specified weeks for using each area and are not removed in times of drought, thus are able to further degrade the area.

    Overall, I think a substantial reduction (ideally accomplished over time by using both birth control and culling type measures) in mustang numbers would benefit those who remained. Obviously the scale of the situation is vastly different (which has helped in this examples considerably), but I look at the Chincoteauge ponies or some of the privately owned but managed as semi-feral native pony herds and think that reducing the supply so that is more in line with or less than (have you heard of the prices some of the Chincoteauge foals can fetch, thanks to the "Misty effect"?) demand will, in the long run, benefit the mustang as a breed/type.

    The Mustang Makeover challenges, etc. are a great way to promote the mustang, but at the end of the day there are only so many people who will want to *and also be capable of* safely handling and training a feral horse.


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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiderInTheRain View Post
    The mustang "debate" drives me insane. As an ecologist (I'm currently in grad school) the idea that our government spends so much money on management strategies that are both inexpensive and ineffective. Now, I'm not advocating slaughtering all the mustangs or anything like that, but I often wonder how different this situation would be handled if the feral animals in question were of any other species. Can you imagine this much money being spent to house and maintain groups of feral hogs after they had been captured from the "wild"? I don't think so.
    Lol...yep, there are SOME feral hogs that have been seen in Michigan. The DNR's policy isI if you see one and are able, shoot it. No one wants a population established.

    I like the idea, in principle, of hauling a bunch east and turning them loose on public lands. We've got plenty of greenery! Let the people who are more concerned with 'noble wild horses' and not breaking up their 'families' have them in the backyard for a while.

    I think the Chincoteague example is good, but they do have a couple advantages in selling them--besides the Misty publicity/nostalgia, they're a contained herd that's relatively domesticated. If you buy a Chincoteague foal, you're not buying an adolescent of undetermined parentage/genetics that's mostly been handled via chutes. The prison gentling programs are helpful there but they're obviously limited in scope.


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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Lol...yep, there are SOME feral hogs that have been seen in Michigan. The DNR's policy isI if you see one and are able, shoot it. No one wants a population established.

    I like the idea, in principle, of hauling a bunch east and turning them loose on public lands. We've got plenty of greenery! Let the people who are more concerned with 'noble wild horses' and not breaking up their 'families' have them in the backyard for a while.

    I think the Chincoteague example is good, but they do have a couple advantages in selling them--besides the Misty publicity/nostalgia, they're a contained herd that's relatively domesticated. If you buy a Chincoteague foal, you're not buying an adolescent of undetermined parentage/genetics that's mostly been handled via chutes. The prison gentling programs are helpful there but they're obviously limited in scope.
    I think that those horses are confined to an island or peninsula, are not spreading over into other places and being hit in highways, etc.

    That is what would happen if the East had herds of feral horses running around, just as deer are now.

    The laws passed in 1970 were for a determined number of feral horses to be managed by the BLM in some very specific ranges.
    Those laws were not intended to help a native rare species to keep from being endangered, but to keep some feral horses running free as a symbol to our pioneer roots, nothing more or less.

    Lets not talk about feral hogs, those are becoming an important pest for many states now and more every day.
    At least feral hogs don't look cute or have a cute name, for some to get a non-profit started to ask for money to save them.

    Lets not tell anyone about Squeaky.



  9. #29
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    Wild pork critters are pretty tasty- in fact some Texas restaurants are tapping the feral hog resource. And I'm pretty sure no one feeds them any bute.


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  10. #30
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    To be honest the mustang is an invasive species and the ones that are caught and raised in captivity are living like kings compared to those in the wild. These horses have to be round up and controlled until they are able to stop them from overbreeding.
    Pro Slaughter
    Anti Parelli


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  11. #31
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    I have read much of this thread with real interest. We have a population of feral horses here, Kaimanawa horses. They are the reminants of horses turned out since horses first came to NZ. The size scale is way smaller: less land area and fewer ponies.

    Website of the Kaimanawa horses:
    http://kaimanawaheritagehorses.org/

    Interesting facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/KeepingUpWithTheKaimanawas

    NZ tends to be a very conservation minded society and about 15 years ago it was realised that the horses were encroaching on land which has unique and rare plant life. Some debate the truth of this, but in the end that is beside the point. A round up was organised and around 300 horses were rounded up. The majority were sent straight to slaughter - for pet food and fertilizer etc. I had a pony from that round up.

    Since then there have been regular round ups, now happening every 2 -3 years, depending on the population. Various groups work to find enough homes for as many ponies as possible. Homes are all inspected to ensure they have good facilities and applicants have to provide references from a vet and at least one other person with knowledge of their skills. Applicants have to pay a minimal amount and transport for their horse to their place. You do not get to pick your horse.

    Over the years that I have been watching these ponies being mustered and domesticated, I have been struck with how much better looking and conformed the ones coming in over the last 2 musters are compared with those mustered 6+ years ago. It cannot be concluded that this is because good stock is turned loose again. All horses in a herd are brought in. Those that don't have a home to go to are sent straight to slaughter. All I can think, is that now there is enough food for all the horses on the range, those that are left are better able to grow properly. There are not as many weak necks, down hill build, poor hocks, crooked legs etc etc.

    Not sure what the solution is to the BLM issue. Having them all standing around in small pens, doing nothing is not much better than starving on the ranges - the only difference there is that they are not damaging the pasture for other animals.


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  12. #32
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    I would think given NZ has some very unique and ground-nesting birds it wouldn't just be plants wild horses could damage. Cats and dogs have been pretty destructive, too.

    Again, though on a bigger scale, there's the advantage over the BLM of being a closed system and smaller numbers. Also it sounds a much more practical attitude towards slaughter vs. holding. But I'm sure you're right--culling leaves a lot more resources for the ones left, which is going to lead to better animals from getting better nutrition.



  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverley View Post
    Well, we find nothing wrong with weaning domestic foals from their mothers, selling them, changing barns or cities or states with our own horses, traveling all over the country (and the world) to compete among strange horses. So why would one apply a different standard to feral horses? The ones I've seen at holding pens and gathering facilities seem pretty darned content to hang out with the others in the corral, from more than one different herd, and not have to worry about feed and water and predators.
    I believe in that case, the horses are so domesticated, like dogs, that the human who brings the food and comfort, is the family. Feral horses depend on each other.



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by hundredacres View Post
    I believe in that case, the horses are so domesticated, like dogs, that the human who brings the food and comfort, is the family. Feral horses depend on each other.
    I can assure you that it takes feral horses no time at all- even when still free on the range- to figure out the human connection to food (and most importantly, water) and comfort. As evidenced by my earlier post about observations of the horses in holding facilities.

    If you ever have the opportunity to observe feral horses on the range, as I often do, you will note that they depend not 'on each other' but on the established herd dynamic. Most of which is focused on survival. Some bands out there are so managed that I've seen touristas with cameras walk right up to them. Not something I'd do myself, but those encounters I've seen ended without mishap (luckily for the really dumb touristas).

    Frankly, the Disney movie portrayal by Cloud Foundation and others about the 'family bond', 'emotional bond' etc is just over the top ridiculous and shows how little those well intentioned but sadly misguided people are.


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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverley View Post
    I can assure you that it takes feral horses no time at all- even when still free on the range- to figure out the human connection to food (and most importantly, water) and comfort. As evidenced by my earlier post about observations of the horses in holding facilities.

    If you ever have the opportunity to observe feral horses on the range, as I often do, you will note that they depend not 'on each other' but on the established herd dynamic. Most of which is focused on survival. Some bands out there are so managed that I've seen touristas with cameras walk right up to them. Not something I'd do myself, but those encounters I've seen ended without mishap (luckily for the really dumb touristas).

    Frankly, the Disney movie portrayal by Cloud Foundation and others about the 'family bond', 'emotional bond' etc is just over the top ridiculous and shows how little those well intentioned but sadly misguided people are.
    When I lived in WY, I saw a stallion fight another and then run off with two fillies from that herd, that didn't mind, went along and never came back.
    It is the way it works, or the inbreeding would be their downfall in a few generations.

    I am sure those fillies had "friends" in their original herd and maybe their dams and even the stallion there may have been their sire, who knows, but they went along with the new stallion without a care.

    That, of course, doesn't help those making their living off the wildly mystical stories they weave around those horses.

    In a way, that is sad, because horses, as the horses they are, are already wonderful.
    Trying to make them something they obviously are not is not giving credit to who they are, already awesome as real horses.


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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    In a way, that is sad, because horses, as the horses they are, are already wonderful.
    Trying to make them something they obviously are not is not giving credit to who they are, already awesome as real horses.
    Couldn't agree more.


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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverley View Post
    I can assure you that it takes feral horses no time at all- even when still free on the range- to figure out the human connection to food (and most importantly, water) and comfort. As evidenced by my earlier post about observations of the horses in holding facilities.

    If you ever have the opportunity to observe feral horses on the range, as I often do, you will note that they depend not 'on each other' but on the established herd dynamic. Most of which is focused on survival. Some bands out there are so managed that I've seen touristas with cameras walk right up to them. Not something I'd do myself, but those encounters I've seen ended without mishap (luckily for the really dumb touristas).

    Frankly, the Disney movie portrayal by Cloud Foundation and others about the 'family bond', 'emotional bond' etc is just over the top ridiculous and shows how little those well intentioned but sadly misguided people are.
    I see what you're saying, the "family bond" is actually a survival instinct. But nonetheless, I do think that the stresses of the roundups are unnecessary. I wish they were removed from the range completely. I don't see their necessity as an "icon" because I'm just not convinced that wild horses are better off - espcially under current management. I truly believe the only answer is to cull the herd and somehow privatize them as a registry and breed. I realize that task would be really difficult in itself, but it would eventually save the government money.



  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by hundredacres View Post
    I see what you're saying, the "family bond" is actually a survival instinct. But nonetheless, I do think that the stresses of the roundups are unnecessary. I wish they were removed from the range completely. I don't see their necessity as an "icon" because I'm just not convinced that wild horses are better off - espcially under current management. I truly believe the only answer is to cull the herd and somehow privatize them as a registry and breed. I realize that task would be really difficult in itself, but it would eventually save the government money.
    I was there as a fly on the wall when the discussions about what to do about the feral horses, that ended up in the laws passed in the early 1970's.

    Those horses were already managed by the local ranchers, at times introducing very nice stallions, to keep the feral horses from reverting to little scrub horses that were not really the kind our riding horses need to be and that was giving those feral horses a good value.

    There were "mustangers", that would catch some and sell them.
    Some were trained and made excellent ranch and eventually trail horses for many dude ranches, including trail riding stables in the East.
    That is where our own best cowhorse came from.

    The ones that didn't come along well were sent to slaughter, recouping some of the expenses mustangers incurred.

    All that was changed when some decided now to make a symbol out of those feral herds and invented a whole mythology around them.

    You know, the USA government is trying to be there for all, even those that didn't know that much about horses or what they need or how to manage them, but are loud in wanting to have those horses managed for their strange ideas of what those horses are, as the Cloud people, that have some fantasy land built around their very successful non-profit, no different than any other such spiritual/church group.

    So, it is fine if we want to have such wild horse herds to admire out there, but there is also other concerns that can't be ignored, that is once we decide to do so and make laws for it, there ought to be sensible regulations to guide and manage those horses.

    Yes, life as a feral horse is not that good, but if it gives some humans a thrill to see them run out there, well, that the government will try to accomodate.

    Now, we need to be sure that those horses are managed properly for the situation we have put them in, their by law designated feral horse ranges.
    Those, today, are some very sparse ranges, in a record drought of several years now, starving at times and that means we have to cut numbers down.

    How to go about that?
    The BLM is already doing their best and learning all along to do so better, but it is not easy and it is not perfect.
    Add to that certain groups that live off making the BLM work of managing those horses many times more difficult by using any and all they do for their own agendas and, well, you end up with the mess we have today.

    The losers here? The horses everyone wanted to do good for, either as managers or those overseeing that management.

    You may say, why are they all not cooperating in managing them, in the best interest of those horses?
    Because some of those groups are making a good living out of being difficult, inventing myths about those horses and finding fault with any and all the managers are trying to do, some times with reason, most times without merit.

    Unintended consequences of those laws passed that many years ago coming to bear on all of us.

    Wild Horse Annie was if nothing else a pragmatic person and would be appalled at what a mess we have today, with so many of those horses damaging droughted out ranges and thousands warehoused for the rest of their lives at a terrific cost, money that would help the ones out there so much more.

    That feral horse problem is really very complicated today, no easy answers to the questions they pose.


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  19. #39
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    Friends of the Nemiah Valley protect the horses of the Brittany triangle in BC.

    Their site it www.fonv.ca to get their perspective.

    Cruelty of any kind is not acceptable when inflicted by humans.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



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